Monday, October 28, 2019

That Time My Friend Accidentally Dumped a Celebrity

When I saw that the themes for this month were roller skating and plotting, I immediately thought of a hilarious story I heard in college.



Kelly was the women's counselor for our college ministry, and she had a great story about how she accidentally broke up with Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman when she was in high school. When I was in college, Chapman was kind of a Christian heartthrob, and girls who heard Kelly's story were aghast that Kelly had let him slip through her fingers. (I'm sure Kelly's husband Wayne, who is a swell guy himself, just loved all those groans about Kelly's rotten luck! But Wayne was not chopped liver, I assure you!) But to me, the story was funny for a couple of reasons: one, Kelly is a great storyteller (seriously, read it for yourself here), and two, the plot thickened at the roller rink. How delightfully 70s is that?

I find that writing for teens is difficult because keeping up with how they communicate is just exhausting. When I wrote my first novel, I had a character who was a mover and shaker in NYC. At the time, a character like that would've had a Blackberry. But imagine how lame that would sound to readers now!

Also, I've always loved plots that involve misunderstandings or lack of information (Shakespeare is with me on this). If Steven Curtis Chapman could've just texted Kelly before she met the cute guy at the roller rink, none of this would've happened, and Kelly would have a much less interesting story. Of course, she might also be married to a bazillionaire and I'd never have met her. But did I mention that Wayne is a great guy? He really is.

Ginger Rue is the author of the Aleca Zamm series from Aladdin and the Tig Ripley series from Sleeping Bear.

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